Skepta’s Big Smoke Festival announce hotly-tipped American reggae singer-songwriter YG Marley as a special guest for the festival’s inaugural edition.

Marking his first ever UK appearance and a UK exclusive performance for the fast-rising star, YG Marley will join the likes of Skepta, The Streets, Mahalia, JME and many more at Crystal Palace Park on Saturday 6 June 2024

The grandson of reggae pioneer Bob Marley and son of Rohan Marley and the legendary rapper Lauryn Hill, YG Marley has released just two singles to date but has been responsible for some of 2024’s biggest pop culture moments so far and has racked up some impressive digital streams. 

YG Marley’s performance in Crystal Palace this summer will mark a full-circle moment in his family’s deep musical history, as Bob Marley and the Wailers performed their last ever UK show at Crystal Palace Bowl in 1980.

Earlier this year YG Marley made his Coachella debut, delivering one of the weekend’s most memorable sets with an impressive main stage performance. Performing some of his unreleased original songs for the first time, alongside a selection of classic Bob Marley covers, he was also joined by his superstar mum Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean and Busta Rhymes. 

He also recently appeared on The Tonight Show alongside Lauryn Hill, with the duo performing his tracks “Survival” and “Praise Jah In The Moonlight”. The performance served as a message of resistance and survival as the pair touched on systemic racism, assassinated leaders, political repression, education and legacy.

YG Marley released his debut single “Praise Jah in the Moonlight” in 2023, written alongside Lauryn Hill and sampling Bob Marley’s 1978 “Crisis”. The track became a top five hit in the UK and has amassed over 45 million hits on TikTok. 

His second single “Survival” was debuted on The Jimmy Fallon Show earlier this year, attracting viral acclaim with its captivating take on reggae that blends traditional rhythms with a fiercely modern contemporary flair.

The inaugural Big Smoke Festival takes place on Saturday 6 July, and features two stages personally curated by influential Mercury Prize-winning mogul Skepta. Assembling a star-studded, multi-genre line-up of artists, the fesitval is set to be an unmissable celebration of the music cultures he passionately drives forward.

Skepta himself will headline the Big Smoke stage, with a full-scale festival show and his only UK performance of 2024. He will be joined by The Streets, Mahalia, JME, Lancey, K-Trap, Odumodublvck, The Den featuring Frisco, Flowdan, Sir Spyro, Infamousizak, Manga and Thafirst

The Más Tiempo Stage will see huge sets from the biggest international names in house, amapiano and beyond with Loco Dice, Uncle Waffles, Syreeta, Kitty Amor and more. 

Skepta says: “It’s good to give other people a space and platform to perform, and for us to step aside and let new talent come through. For me Big Smoke Festival is about building something and more doors opening. We’ve been thinking about what we can do to make a good festival and bring people together because right now everyone’s just on their phones, so how do we make people get off their phones and be immersed? Having a rap stage and a dance stage is setting us apart from everyone else, that’s our USP and I believe that this could be the London festival every summer.” 

Crystal Palace Park is London’s original outdoor concert venue, with previous performers including The Rolling Stones, Bob Marley and Pink Floyd. In 2023 the park played host to an array of exciting talent including Iggy Pop and Blondie, The Lumineers, plus Two Door Cinema Club and The Wombats as part of Community Festival Presents.

This summer, the park will host Skepta’s inaugural Big Smoke Festival on 6 July, as well as The National on 5 July and Bloc Party (sold out) on 7 July. 

Remaining tickets are available now from www.ticketmaster.co.uk.

New Issue

Subscribe to the Viper Newsletter for the latest news, events and offers

Top Stories